When asked to write a post about staying mentally healthy, I initially thought I was going to write about an intense fitness program I recently completed or my new running schedule that allows me to burn off some “steam.” However, with a little more thought I realized that exercise alone is not what ensures my mental wellness; instead I determined that the key to my personal mental health is finding a healthy balance of lifestyle.
I’m the first to admit that having a healthy balance is very difficult to achieve especially with all that life entails – children, partners, family, work and everything else in between. Often, I might be overly concerned with making sure I get in a certain amount of exercise throughout the week not realizing that I have neglected other important aspects of my life, ultimately leaving me feeling mentally and physically unbalanced.
Therefore, I think the most important way that I ensure that I stay mentally healthy is by considering all facets of my life and ensuring that I am inclusive and thoughtful of each of these areas in a balanced way. Some areas I consider are:
- Quality time with loved ones and friends
- Quiet relaxing time – time to let my mind rest
- Physical exercise
- Eating healthy
- Connecting with my environment/mother nature
- Finding time to laugh
- Ensuring a healthy sleep schedule
- Having a realistic work schedule
- Being creative
- Making space for music
- Remembering to generally slow life down to provide time for gratitude and appreciation for all that I have
When I notice that I feel off balance, I do “a check” – what in my life is missing or what area is taking away from other important areas – where is the imbalance? I then ask myself: what needs to happen to achieve a sense of balance and how do I go about making this happen? In general, I think my key to mental wellness is being self-aware and remembering that we have to care for ourselves in order to have the ability to care for others. So keep running, but remember to stop to have tea and a good laugh with an old friend as well!
What’s your key to mental wellness?
About Kerrie Scott
Kerrie Scott is a clinician within mental health and addictions services in Prince Rupert. She has a bachelor of Social Work from the University of Victoria from which she graduated in 2004. Kerrie keeps very busy and enjoys spending time with her two young children.